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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Kyiv Traditions

Freezing with the Fishes

What do parachuting and ice fishing have in common? - Believe it or not, both are extreme sports. Ice fishing is doubtless the slowest of all extreme sports and requires the least amount of adrenaline. This drowsy pastime however assumes an extreme touch as soon as one goes under-the-ice either by falling through the ice by mistake or on purpose, diving and swimming in the freezing water. Extremes notwithstanding, ice-fishing is a ritualistic must for many Ukrainian men. Annually, Kyivs winter cityscape all along the Dnipro River is dotted with tiny figures pitter-pottering about on a seemingly endless surface of white ice. Likewise, the capitals newspapers are dotted with reports of rescue operations and casualties from ice fishing nationwide. According to the State Ministry of Emergency Services, each year more than 100 ice fishers become fatalties. A safe thickness for the ice to support a human being is about 7 centimeters. This theoretical knowledge alone is little help for the inexperienced or foolhardy, since the water is insidious, old-timers say. The ice behaves differently from day to day and from one spot to another. Where in one spot the ice may be a half-meter thick and sturdy enough for an automobile, it may be dangerously fragile only a few steps away! Currents, underwater activity or the draining of water by hydro-electric stations, and sewer runoffs are largely responsible for the irregular thicknesses of the ice layer in urban areas. Ironically, some fishermen claim that where the ice is cracked and at its thinnist is where the most bountiful numbers of marketable fish gather. It is this lure of a quick catch, and easy money that draw many a fisherman to his doom, ending up sleeping with the fishes rather than catching them. So unless you are a very experienced ice-fisher, remember, dont try this at home.



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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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